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Debbie and Jim GessamanDebbie and Jim Gessaman

Debbie: My parents grew up in blue-collar families where the men worked, one as a house carpenter and the other as a laborer at Minneapolis Moline. The men probably trained on the job. Their wives raised children and kept house.

Maybe that’s why Mom and Dad decided to provide more opportunity for their three children than they had, so they both worked long hours at basic jobs.  Mother was a waitress at a Jewish Country Club, with a catering business on the side; Dad was a timekeeper at Ford Motor in St. Paul.  Two salaries helped, along with their fix-it gene; thriftiness; modest investments; and saving for their “dream rambler” and college for us was a priority.

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